ITN chooses Custom Consoles Module-R desk for new production control room

Independent Television News (ITN) has chosen a large studio control desk from Custom Consoles as part of a technical upgrade at its headquarters in Gray’s Inn Road, central London. More than 8.8 metres in breadth, the desk is an in-line design occupying almost the full width of Studio Control Suite A.

“The new control desk is based on Custom Consoles’ Module-R series which enabled us to configure exactly the structure we needed without the expense of a fully bespoke design,” says ITN’s Head of Broadcast Engineering, Paul Flook. “The desk is wide enough to accommodate a production team of up to seven people. To achieve this within the space available, we specified a configuration giving extra front-to-back depth to the camera control and lighting section at the right-hand of the desk, a Strand lighting mixer being mounted at 45 degrees across a corner section.”

Centred on a Grass Valley vision switcher, ITN’s new control facility consists of six in-line desk sections combined to form a single unit, plus an integrated right-hand sub-unit supporting the lighting mixer. The two desk sections left of the vision switcher incorporate 4U equipment pods with their control panels rising at 15 degrees from the horizontal work surface. These are augmented on the desk adjacent to the switcher by an auxiliary talkback and server control panel set at 30 degrees. The two desks immediately right of the switcher are fitted with larger equipment bays plus, on the right, inset camera control panels. On the far right, the lighting control desk accommodates two 8U high equipment bays and additional support for the 45 degree angled horizontal worktop.

Finished in maple with a hard-wearing graphite work surface, the new desk is fitted with 10 individually adjustable Ergotron LX monitor arms plus dual monitor support.

“Custom Consoles has worked with us on many furniture projects over the years,” Paul Flook adds, “most recently providing Module-R desks for the main production gallery and audio control room at Channel 5 News. The desks are ergonomically efficient, attractively styled and very robust. They also provide the easy access needed during equipment installation and maintenance.”

Custom Consoles’ Module-R product range enables customers and system integrators to create robust, efficient and attractive control-room desks from a selection of standard interlocking elements. These include high-quality single-bay, dual-bay and triple-bay desk sections with front or rear access, work surfaces in matching widths, corner desk sections in 90 degree, 45 degree or 30 degree angles with integral worktops, a slide-out keyboard drawer, equipment pods with 3U, 6U or 8U capacity, a 19 in storage pedestal and 27U equipment bay.

Module-R desks incorporate steel-and-aluminium vertical supports with internal cable ducts. Resting on a broad load-bearing skid, the legs provide high strength and stability, protect studio carpet and allow easy relocation if required during technical rebuilds. Module-R furniture is available as off-the-shelf units in beech, cherry, maple or oak finish with a choice of hard-wearing arabesque, black or blue marmoleum worktops. Cabinet construction is in veneered MDF with continuous brush-strip edging and easy cable access.

ITN ( is one of the world’s leading news and multimedia content companies creating, packaging and distributing news, entertainment, factual and corporate content on multiple platforms to customers around the globe. The news programming produced for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 reaches around 10 million people every day, providing comprehensive, impartial news provision for the British public. ITN’s news is watched by millions of viewers worldwide, through partnerships with global news outlets such as Reuters, CNN and NBC and online partners such as Livestation, YouTube and MSN. As well as providing television news ITN operates two other divisions: footage sales arm ITN Source, and video creation business ITN Productions.

Founded in 1996, Custom Consoles Ltd ( is an ISO 9001 certified manufacturer of project-specific and modular broadcast, process-control and security furniture. The product range includes motorised, manually-adjustable and fixed-height units plus fan-cooled sound-insulated equipment housings. Custom Consoles operates from a 1,200 square metre UK-based production facility equipped with 3D computer-aided-design and computer-controlled cutting machinery. This provides the dual benefits of precise quality control and prompt delivery times, typically 21 days from receipt of order. The company’s clients include broadcasters, production and post-production studios, governmental and corporate organisations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australasia.


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